18 July

5 Top Tips for Super Social Customer Service

Great customer service is the key to keeping everybody happy but in our changing world where customers are increasingly online, gone are the days of in store help desks, telephone helplines and even email assistance. Customers want their customer service online on social media and wise businesses know that wherever your customers go, you should follow. Enter social customer service.

Social customer service means transferring your customer help desk from your store to your social media profiles. A recent report by Accent Marketing revealed some staggering facts about social customer service – that nearly a third of customers use Facebook to contact a customer service representative, that half of those people believe Facebook is the fastest way to solve customer service issues and that nearly half of those expect to have their comment or query answered within an hour. With statistics like that, any business that does not consider social media a customer service tool should be changing their tune and getting on board with social customer service – fast. But how do you do that? (more…)

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15 July

6 Steps to Successful Digital Listening

In today’s world, the customer is king and just like traditional kings, the customer will tell you exactly what they want, so you better listen. To listen, you have to find out what your customers are saying, and in today’s hyper-connected world, customers are talking online. But how do we listen to them online? Through digital listening.

Digital listening means locating and analysing what is being said about a company, brand or individual on the internet. The listening can and should take place across many channels – as many as your customers are located on – to get a full, balanced report of how people view your company, brand or product.

Getting started with digital listening can be intimidating. Venturing on to the internet unprepared and finding that there’s a whole conversation going on that you weren’t involved in until now can shock even a veteran marketer. So, where do you start? (more…)

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07 July

5 tips for running a successful blog

Business blogs are always started with the best intentions, but somewhere along the way, the posts become scarce and eventually dry up altogether.

The Daily Business Post asked Conor Lynch, CEO of SocialMedia.ie for his tips to create a great business blog that will attract readers and turned them into customers.

1. Choose a simple, responsive theme

Creating a business blog, you should bear in mind that not everyone will be looking at it from their laptop or PC — which means you’ll need to choose a theme that is digitally responsive and displays perfectly on mobile, tablets, laptops and desktops, Lynch said.

“Design is one of the most important factors for your blog. It has to have a user-friendly navigation and be visually appealing,” he said.

Your main goal is to communicate with potential customers — so keep it simple, accessible, interactive and shareable.

2. Integrate your blog with social media

It’s absolutely crucial to connect your blog with your main social network pages, Lynch said. You can do this easily using plugins or widgets which you can set up to post to your pages automatically as soon as a new post is published, minimising the amount of time you need to spend on sharing across platforms.

“Your blog should be the hub and engine room of your social media activities,” Lynch said. “It’s where you should upload and manage your content before sharing it on social networks.”

Writing good content is just the first step — unless you promote it to your readers across a wide range of platforms, there’s no point.

Once you’ve shared on all the relevant platforms, try to engage your readers in conversation.

“Encourage readers to leave a comment or to start a discussion and ask questions. Readers love to show off their knowledge too,” he said.

3. Create shareable content

Blog readers love quick, insightful posts that teach them something they didn’t know — but aside from the content, your posts will need a catchy title or your readers will be less likely to share them.

Lynch advises to write titles the way you would write a tweet. An added bonus is that when posting across to social media, you won’t need to waste time making the titles more Twitter or Facebook friendly.

Additionally, use a relevant image in the posts so they don’t look like big long tracts of boring text.

“Blogging is not just about text; you should incorporate video, photo or audio content into your blog posts. Choose the format that works for you and which will have the biggest impact on your audience. Your blogging strategy can include multi-format content,” Lynch said.

“If your blog shows your business as offering intelligent and informative blog posts, readers are more likely to hang around to check out your products and services”.

4. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation

A well-organised and optimised business blog will be a valuable source of extra traffic to your website, Lynch said. People who never otherwise would have landed on your page will find themselves there to read your content.

Make sure you tag your posts properly with relevant keywords and categories. It will help readers and search engines find your content more easily.

5. Attracting readers

If your blog shows your business as offering intelligent and informative blog posts, readers are more likely to hang around to check out your products and services.

It is not a good idea to just write a blog post without spending some time finding readers by promoting your posts on social networks. If you are a B2B business, it is advised to share your blog post in relevant LinkedIn groups of people interested in the subject area.

Building a community of readers is something you should strive for so connect with readers on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.  It is hoped that they will see your next blog post in their newsfeeds and come back for more of your great stories!

Do you want some help with your business blogging? Contact us or follow us on Twitter

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23 June

SocialMedia.ie Digital, Social & Mobile Training

Since 2010, SocialMedia.ie offers group training and 1-1 consultative training sessions online and offline. We have trained more than 3,000 professionals in Digital, Mobile & Social Marketing.

We are pleased to introduce to you our training portfolio to have an overview of the masterclasses we deliver.

Don’t hesitate to contact us and tell us how we can help you. Follow us on @socialmedia.ie

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26 May

Dos & Don’ts of Social Media

You want to use Social Media for your business?

As we are very generous, we are sharing some Dos & Don’ts for your Social Media strategy on different networks.

Dos & Don'ts of Social Media

For more infographics like this, follow us on @socialmedia_ie

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12 May

connector360 Instagram Plan #Instaplan

So you want to use Instagram for business but don’t have a plan? Well as we are so generous, we are sharing our little sister connector360 Instagram research and plan aka our #Instaplan! We would like to present our planning for our new Instagram account. It shows marketing, art, music, entertainment and a bit of our lives into the office. We do everything thinking of you, clients, friends and Partners. We hope our content is engaging images, reviews, tips, tools and trends.

Follow us @connector360 and get to know more about this Irish based  family called connector360.

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01 April

Crowdfunding: Peer to Peer lending continues to take business off banks

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? In the current economic climate, it may be difficult to find funding via traditional ways (such as bank loans). Even angel investors are an highly solicited, sometimes leaving aside a lot of people with brilliant ideas and ultimately missing some great opportunities.

However another solution could offer you a new way to finance your project, whatever it may be. That solution is called crowdfunding. Crowdfunding isn’t a new idea, as the practice has been used since the 18th century. However with the emergence and growth of the Internet, its field of applicants and supporters has broadened greatly.

The goal is for entrepreneurs to ask the public to financially contribute to their projects in exchange for a reward or out of sheer generosity. Why limit yourself to one business angel when you can have hundreds?

Today, Kickstarter is one of the biggest crowdfunding websites on the web. Since its creation in 2009, it has contributed to the successful funding of almost 55,000 projects, with a total of over a billion dollars being contributed. 5.5 million people helped those projects getting funded with nearly 14 million pledges.

One of the biggest success stories thus far is the Pebble smartwatch. The project was so successful it raised 100 times its initial goal by the end of the funding period. Eoin from the connector360 team even has one!

Ireland also has its own crowdfunding websites. Fund It has enabled projects to raise more than two million euro from the ‘power of the crowd’. Fund It works similarly to Kickstarter, allowing entrepreneurs to assign different rewards to different pledge levels. However, Linked Finance - another Irish crowdfunding website – allows the crowd to propose loans at a fixed interest rate. If the loans are accepted by the entrepreneurs, funders will get back the amount loaned, plus interest, usually starting one month after the funding.

All these success stories might make it seem like crowdfunding is the obvious solution to all funding problems, but this is not always the case. A rewarding campaign is hard work, comparable to a marathon that can last from 30 to 60 days. No matter how amazing your idea, artwork or music may be, nobody is sitting around flipping through platforms, waiting to donate to you. It is up to you to create a hook that entices your contributors to make them believe in your vision. It is up to you to use the power of social media wisely and strategically.

Do you want to try crowdfunding for your next project? Here are connector360’s top 5 tips for making your crowdfunding campaign a fantastic success, and not a fallacious flop.

1. Choose your platforms wisely

As stated above, driving your campaign is a grueling process and you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. It may not be necessary to push your message on every online platform. To have any form of success, it is likely you will need to be active on Facebook and Twitter, where there is the largest volume of audience. After that it all depends on where your audience is. For example, if your project has strong audio/visual impact well then YouTube or Vimeo may enable you to reach your greatest audience.

2. Blog

Starting a blog will be useful no matter what your project may be. It offers you a platform to drive traffic to your site should the donor want more detailed information. It will also allow you to keep them informed on your progress once the campaign is over.

3. Be realistic

Do not overestimate what you can achieve. Aim to under promise and over deliver. Project director of Fund It, Andrew Hetherington, has stated that campaigns of less than €10,000 have the greatest success rate. If it is a project that requires a larger amount, break up the campaign into more digestible chunks. For example if you were making a film, crowd source for production and marketing/distribution at separate intervals.

4. Crowdfunding starts well in advance of campaign launch

If you are not already active on social media, it is important to build your audience BEFORE you start a campaign. It is simply too overwhelming to do both at once. Don’t focus on your campaign or content ‘going viral’. Instead, focus on making it as vibrant, consistent and relevant to your audience as possible.

5. Say ‘Thank You’

Do not take the money and run! Once you have achieved your goals – and even if not – be sure to follow through on any rewards you promised in return for donations, and be grateful to those who helped make your ideas reality. You can, for example, send personal rewards with perhaps a handwritten card or message. It is also important to keep funders up to date with your progress with continued updates to social media/blog etc. Even if things are delayed or not going to plan, it is important to let the crowd know. The last thing you want is for them to feel like they have been fooled!

While crowdfunding may not be a walk in the park, a successful result will not only give you financial support, but will also give you a strong social base that will encourage you and show that others believe in you and your project! Most people on completion of this journey will recall it as a positive and fulfilling experience. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to bring your best ideas to life!

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08 November

Engaging Nonprofit Volunteers through Social Media

Volunteer Ireland are hosting the National Volunteer Management Conference today so naturally our interest spiked when they asked a member of our team to give a workshop on engaging volunteers through social media. We jumped at the chance, as here at connector360 we have a special place in our heart for nonprofit organizations and the great work they do.

Our whiz kid project manager Sarah was chosen for the task due to her background working with The Irish Cancer Society. She got the head down and immersed herself in research on how nonprofits use social channels successfully. What did she find? They are pretty darn good at it!

She packaged up her findings into a lovely presentation which you can find on Slideshare below:

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Some of the major insights she uncovered was the volunteers today are young, they’re generous and they are your online influencers. They share, share and keep on sharing the good work of the organizations they are involved with.
So, connector360 is sending a call out to all young people out there to get involved with a charity that is close to their heart. There’s no comparison to how rewarding the work is but more importantly you are helping others.

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28 June

How to manage your Facebook Privacy Settings and safeguard your reputation

It is crucial you manage your online reputation if you use Facebook for personal or professional reasons.  Here we share some great advice on how to do this – please share with your friends and look after them too

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More Resources

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21 May

Under The Hood – The 6 Key Parts Of Your Digital Marketing Engine

Today we will look at what separates an old, run down marketing strategy from the sleek, supercharged digital engine that drives a clued-in company.  Let’s pop the hood and see what makes souped-up digital marketing tick!

share1. Create Useful and Shareable Content

The web is chock full of companies and brands advertising their wares. Being heard in the digital space with just an advert or sales pitch is a sure fire way of being lost in the ether.  To attract the new and empowered online customer you will need to grab their attention and make them come to you.

How? Create content that is relevant and useful to your customer base.   This will encourage them to return to your site again and again and improve customer perception of your brand.  This can be hugely effective and cost efficient way of increasing leads and sales opportunities.

2. Build Your Community & Fanbase

Now you have a strong and active web presence. To borrow a classic movie quote “If you build it, they will come”?  Not necessarily!  Ensure you get your message heard, if people are sharing your content, find out where and how.  Encourage these behaviours further amongst your customer base. Common examples here are clever uses of polls, questions, contests and competitions.

3. Interact With Your Audience, Build Trust

Social media marketing has allowed mass conversation between companies and consumers.  Brands can now reach out and make real connections with their customers.  Use social media to humanise your brand, start conversations and spark debate.  This will help create enthusiastic customers and in time, brand evangelists.

4. Maintain a Sales Focused Website

Your website is your crown jewel online, the one part of the web where you control every aspect of your brand’s message.  Test your own site from a customer perspective, is the search and purchase process clear and easy to understand?  If customers have to jump through too many hoops to purchase, they will simply leave and never come back.

goingup5. Measure Your Effectiveness

Behold the altar of metrics!  Whatever your digital focus is (increasing fans, engagement, increasing sales leads) ensure that you are tracking the effects your strategy across your various web and social platforms.  Measure before, during and after any campaign, that way you can adjust your behaviour to repeat successes and avoid repeating failures.

6. Re-evaluate Objectives, & Go Again!

Of course, the road goes ever on regarding your brand’s performance.  Whether a campaign has met your goals or not, strive to create an action plan for any peaks and valleys in your performance that you may have noticed along the way.  Learn any lessons, refine your technique and get back into the fray.  Digital never sleeps!

If you’d like to know more about any of the topic discussed above, or how they can affect your business, please drop us a message.

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